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Gooseberry plant problem

I have two gooseberry bushes in pots and growing well but overnight one of the bushes has had all off it's leaves eaten, it is now very bald.
What could do this and how do I protect the other bush


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,869
    Any tiny caterpillars on them?  Could be the work of the Gooseberry Sawfly

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PlashingPlashing Posts: 328
    I agree with dove from above I have had the same problem they also attack redcurrant bushes as well you have to keep looking and squashing them or hope that the blue and great tits will find them.
  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058
    I’d really check out the 2nd bush & move the pot well away from the other one. 
    Almost certainly gooseberry sawfly. Very common & a real pain. Google it to check, the caterpillars are quite distinctive. Picking them off is the best way, but no guarantee that they won’t return or you may miss a couple. 

    Repeated attacks will ultimately weaken the plant. 

    Because of it I gave up growing both gooseberries & redcurrants.  :/
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,264
    Hi @Devon Roy,

    Try using a spray of diluted neem oil .... it is totally organic and is derived by pressing the seed kernels of the neem tree.

    I use it for lily beetles and sawfly on gooseberries, solomons seal and aruncus. Also use it if the aphids get too bad on the roses.

    See this link for further info.

    and this one for how to make it.

    I use it as soon as growth starts in April and I drench the foliage. Any spare solution goes onto the soil below as the earthworms are supposed to love it. I repeat spray every few weeks.

    Neem is best used preventatively .... but will work on pests that have already arrived. It does not hurt beneficial insects. Only chewing and sucking insects are affected. The main reason is that insects need to ingest the neem oil to be affected, and beneficial insects don't eat your plants. However, you can still kill beneficial insects if you smother them with neem oil, so I tend to spray late evening to be safe.

    It does stink a bit ... but is easy to mix up and apply.

    I got mine off Amazon .... wasn't expensive for a big bottle which will last ages. At room temperature it is solid, but goes liquid again within a couple of hours in the airing cupboard.

    Worth a try.

    Bee x

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
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